39) Fork! It’s back to work time

Why doesn’t fork rhyme with work?

Sorry for the gap in posts. There’s been little to say, and to be honest, I’ve had a bit of writers block I suppose. I had to go back to work on Monday. It was adequate. I was actually looking forward to it in some ways, although I could, and have, filled my days perfectly well without the need to go to work to challenge myself or keep me from getting bored. Having a coffee in the local cafe and then trying to get home before shitting yourself is a challenge. I can’t for the life of me think why the surgery would have affected my bowel so much, so I have to put it down the 5 or 6 weeks of antibiotics I had the pleasure of. So I’m still avoiding coffee, and to some extent alcohol, as they seem to be the worst at making things bad.

From a wee point of view, well things are pretty good. I can sleep through the night without without having to get up, much to the disgust of wifey. In fact sleeping has been great. Like a log, which has not really been the case since we had the kids. Once you have kids, you sleep with one eye open, I guess. Maybe one ear open, just in case they need you. Never getting back into the deep un-worried sleep of the care-free twenty something we used to be. Until now. This last few weeks, sleep has been good. We have shaken off the spectre of cancer, for the short term future at least, and I have had no worries or stresses from work. Until yesterday, when I had to go back.

Sunday evening we ordered Pizza Hut and feasted on a concoction of some sort of cheese and plastic bits, with a suggestion they may have once lived on a pigs rump, spread on to a doughy, but chewy base. Add some tiny slightly meaty balls exotically named “ground beef” but known as mince to the rest of the world, and a token gesture of healthy stuff -a slice of onion, half a mushroom and an olive, to ward off scurvy, and we were set. Forced to watch the new series of Married at First Sight, I devoured my pizza with half a bottle of a middle market Merlot, to take the edge off. Nothing spoiled the evening until, I discovered a piece of pineapple in my pizza, at odds with the clear instruction of “no pineapple”.

“Dirty bastards!” Rant, rant, rant, but only for a minute and then back to the wine and the shit telly. I had an early night, laid out my uniform, gathered my keys, security swipe card and was ready for the next day. 10pm lights are off, and I’m asleep.

1245 Bang! Wide awake, horrible dragging, burning epigastric pain like a giant rat was gnawing on my insides. Who knows if it was reflux, my gall bladder or pancreatitis? It hurt big time. I fumbled around in my bedside and scrabbled down a cocktail of antacids, painkillers and anything else I could find. No good. I couldn’t find anywhere to lie that was comfortable. I turned the air-con on and paced around in the dark for a while. No good. Eventually deciding to leave the room, my grasping for the door handle managed to make enough noise to wake the cats and dog, who decided it must be feeding time and greeted me with a chorus of miaowing, panting and the rhythmic thumping from a wagging tail banging on the door. Luckily, wifey remained asleep and I didn’t have to explain the apparent sounds of a feline orgy that was in full swing outside her bedroom door.

Milk. Cold refreshing milk. That’s what I crave when I have refluxy type symptoms. It’s probably counter productive, as i’ll need even more acid to digest the milk. Anyway, away I went, glugging it down. No good. Time flies and before I know it’s 2am and I’m still struggling. I feel a little nauseous, and the little creature with sharp pointy teeth continues to remove the lining of what felt like my duodenum, little by little. I had no choice. I called in the big guns. I fumbled around and opened the safe, wherein lay my potential salvation. Opiates.

A couple of Endone later and things begin to take a turn for the better. Around 330am I drift off to sleep. The disrupted pre-menopausal sleeping habits of wifey elected to wake her up at 430am, and she’s straight over to my side of the bed for a hug which wakes me up again. And that’s it.

Nearly 4 fucking months off with lovely sleep, and the night before I return to work, I have the worst night since one of the kids had a dirty protest in their cot as a consequence of toddler gastro which must have been 10 years back. Up I get, and haul my ass off for a 75 minute commute to work, to find that the job I thought I was returning to has changed and I’m not prepared at all. So all up, I would say that my first day back was not quite the day I wanted it to be. And I still feel rough in the guts two days later.

Luckily, I had a days worth of time owing from before I left, and my line managers are able to let me finish early on my first two days back. This has made quite a difference, because I didn’t know how weak I’d become. One of the doctors told me it may take a year or so to get back to feeling normal (of course considering the changes from surgery- obviously I’m not growing back my prostate and being naturally re-loaded with man wax) and I know why they say this now. All things take a turn for the worse when you are fatigued. So ease yourselves back in gently, and carry on.

There’s a bloke I’ve “virtually” met whilst writing my blog. His name’s Jim. Jim is in his early 60’s (63 I think). He was told that he was a bit too young to be getting prostate cancer a few years back, and after all, most men die with prostate cancer, not from it, don’t they? I would urge you to have read of his blog, as he documents the metastatic spread of his disease to his liver, lung and bones, with humour and dignity, and send him best wishes from around the world.

Here is the link to his blog:


5 thoughts on “39) Fork! It’s back to work time

  1. I’m glad that living has taken priority over writing for a while. Great to enjoy the relative calm of being cancer free.
    It sounds like your journey is not yet over, though, and I think that’s a common experience for most recovering from cancer. The physical and psychological after effects can be surprisingly big and long lasting. Still… Dodgy pizza, mid-range wine, shit TV and feline orgies should see you through. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Be gentle with yourself Stef and ease yourself back in to work. And I really don’t know why fork doesn’t rhyme with work. Until you pointed it out I’d never really thought about it but it seems very important to me now with my morphine soaked brain. Another swig of Oramorph and I hope to have the answer for you. Jim. p.s. The cheque is in the post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey sorry to hear you had the worst night ever befor you were due back. Hope you’re easing back in and that it’s bearable. Just a theory , what do you think ……,
    Hidden anxiety and mental stress knowing what work and public face is like took over your weakened body and caused mal function???
    Or shit carbs pizza and half a bottle of red wine played havoc?
    The moral of this story is Greek salad and water , preferably on a remote Greek Island.
    Loads of love ! So happy for your survival ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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